Visiting the Birthplace of Rugby
Last week, A Level Physical Education students visited Rugby School to learn about the influence of Public Schools on Sport and in particular the development of Rugby Union.
It was a great time to visit as the School had featured heavily in the recent Rugby World Cup. Our tour guide – the infamous Rusty McLean, Librarian and Archivist at the School, has featured on news channels across the world from South Africa to Scotland; he explained the nature of public school life and the harsh living conditions the boys used to endure.
We visited the museum at Rugby School, learning about early forms of cross-country where the races ended at the local Inn, as it was safer to hydrate with beer than water. We saw Rugby’s ‘Fives’ courts and learnt about the origins of Rugby Union and how William Webb Ellis did not in fact stop and pick up the ball to run to create the game of Rugby Union as so many people believe, but caught the ball and ran and started the game of Rugby Union. We learnt about the influence of Dr Thomas Arnold on Physical Education and went in the very impressive chapel and saw where he was buried. A trip to the Birching Tower brought tears to some of our pupils’ eyes.
The visit brought lessons to life and pupils felt they could imagine what pupils in the 19th century endured.
Miss Cia Duckworth – Head of Physical Education